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Posted at 05:08 PM ET, 03/31/2011

Haley Barbour should be the first visitor to Mississippi’s Civil Rights Museum

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) is trying to make amends for his racial myopia. He’s had trouble remembering the drama of the civil rights movement raging around him in his youth. He didn’t quite see the problem with not opposing (at least initially) a state license plate honoring a terrorist, I mean, a klansman. And now that criticisms have started to take their toll on his reputation as the consummate politician, Barbour is resorting to what used to be good, old-fashioned insurance against being called a racist. He’s buying goodwill.

Barbour announced Thursday that he’s calling for a special session of the legislature to secure funding for the Civil Rights Museum and Museum of Mississippi History.

To be fair, Barbour has been pushing for this since he mentioned the project in his state of the state speech in January. But that was after his blind spot on race the size of the Confederate flag was revealed. In that speech, he said, “The civil rights struggle is an important part of our history, and millions of people are interested in learning more about it.” He went on to say, ”People from around the world would flock to see the museum and learn about the movement.”

The governor should be first in line.

By  |  05:08 PM ET, 03/31/2011

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